I don’t mean to set your heart a racing, but if you haven’t checked the calendar lately, let me give you a head’s up. It’s Wednesday and Mother’s Day is on Sunday. Don’t have a gift for your fabulous mom yet? Congratulations, you’re officially a procrastinator. Didn’t your mother teach you never to put off until tomorrow what you can do today? Well, there’s no time like the present–haha, see what I did there?!
So, what do you get for the one person in your life who endured hours (and for some of us unlucky moms, days) of excruciating physical pain to bring you into this world and years of emotional ups and downs watching you navigate the minefield of life? A bouquet of flowers? Another “world’s best mom” coffee mug? A gift basket of flowery lotions and body sprays? A macaroni necklace—oops, no luck—you’re not 4 anymore! Ugh, let’s go back to the drawing board folks. Your mom deserves better! But you’re on budget you say (and good, you should be!)?! I hear ya, just stick with me here…
If you haven’t read my About Me page (or you’re not the one regular reader I have—Hi Mom, love ya! ;)), then just let me say, you’re
looking at listening to a bonafide mom of 4. And the perfect gift, aside from a day without my kids fighting with each other—which I’m convinced is as likely as spotting a unicorn—is time. Whether that’s quality time spent with my kids, or a gift that saves me time so I can then spend more time with them. I mean, think about it. Is there anything in this world that your mom loves more than you? Most likely and hopefully, the answer is no! Wine is probably a close second, but let’s focus on you being number one. Give your mom more of you! So, how do you give your mom time? Here’s 7 of my best Mother’s Day gifts of time for you to consider…
Paint some happy little trees with your mom at a local paint and wine shop (combining her first and second favorite things is a double win!). Artistic talent is not required, just relax and have fun. These franchises are becoming more and more popular, as artists lead you in painting a canvas while you consume your—alcoholic or otherwise—beverage of choice. Groupon and Living Social frequently feature deals for these types of establishments in the local section of their website. Grab the Groupon and accompany your mom on your paint night. Connect as you have a glass of wine and laugh with each other as your tree branches look like scary, stumpy fingers—or maybe that’s just mine—trees are harder than they look man!
Unless she really enjoys cooking—and even then, who couldn’t use a day off from the task—prepare her a meal rather than taking her out. Don’t know how to cook? Order a Hello Fresh kit (may be too late for this Mother’s Day, but keep it in mind for next year then), which will provide you a healthy recipe with step-by-step instructions and all the fresh ingredients so you’ll look like a pro (you can cancel the subscription at any time). Take everything to her house (unless she would prefer coming to you, but someone cooking for me in my home feels extra special), have her kick her heels up and relax while you do the cooking. And afterwards, please don’t forget to clean the kitchen–it’s vitally important to not leave mom with a mess!
Gather up your siblings—if you’ve got ‘em—and your mom and do a photo shoot at a local park. Pair it with a picnic lunch and you’ve got the perfect combination of time together and a keepsake that she can look back on with fondness. Take some candid shots of all of you oversized kids on the swings or racing down the slide—don’t forget the wax paper! Bring a tripod so you can get some group shots with all her favorite people included.
How can your mom live on forever? By sharing memories of her life in writing so they’re never forgotten. The older I get, the realization that life is short is far too obvious. Our tomorrows are not guaranteed so take the time now to create a lasting keepsake that you can pass down for generations. Use that Amazon Prime subscription to score her this diary in time for Mother’s Day: Conversations with My Mother: A Keepsake Journal for Celebrating a Lifetime of Stories. There’s one for fathers too if you want to be proactive and shop early for Father’s Day! The book gives you the opportunity to ask your mom a variety of questions and have her jot down her answers so you can look back on them whenever you want. At only $8.35, this is a budget-friendly gift mom and you will love, that will keep her legacy alive far into the future.
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Now you know your mom better than I do, so if it would offend her, please don’t do this! But if she would appreciate having you as an accountability partner, give her the gift of fitness. Think outside the gym membership to Zumba, yoga, kickboxing or dance classes, perhaps even a self-defense course or karate lessons. Something that you could both enjoy doing together that doesn’t involve simply walking on a treadmill (boring!) and benefits your health and relationship. Groupon may, again, be a good resource for securing such a gift at a reasonable price. Also, check out your local community college. They often have fitness classes for reduced costs in their continuing education offerings. My mom and I took a Zumba class at one before and it was a challenging (read: I was out of shape and looked like a fish flopping out of water) and fun experience.
Have you seen any of these “escape” games pop up in your area lately? We have quite a few of them here and they are a great time. They lock you and your group into a room and you have 60 minutes to solve a number of clues and puzzles in order to “escape.” Gather your mom (and dad!), siblings, and/or extended family and friends to have enough for a group (you’ll need 8-10 participants). If it’s just the two of you, that’s fine too. They’ll group you in with others, but you’re under no obligation to work with them if you so choose. Groupon frequently has deals for these businesses; purchase it and schedule at mom’s convenience.
Take her on a day trip or sight see close to home. Do you even know all the things there are to do in your hometown? I bet there’s more than you think. For example, I’m near Pittsburgh and there are several “touristy” things to do that even residents can enjoy while they learn local history and explore the city. Here we have sightseeing cruises down the rivers on the Gateway Clipper; Just Ducky Tours featuring a land-to-watercraft which travels the city streets and then transforms to float the rivers (amazing by the way); Segway tours of all the sights (trying this soon—thanks mom and dad!); paddle boarding through the Allegheny Islands; bike and boat rentals; lots of theater experiences in the cultural district; and zoos, museums and sporting events galore. Search out ideas, coupons and deals online by typing in your area and tourism. AAA may also be a good money-saving resource to check for ideas and deals.
So now you have some of my top Mother’s Day gift ideas—and the not-so-secret secret of all of them is that you include yourself. Whatever you choose to gift her, make sure there’s time with you included and it’s sure to be a hit—you’re welcome!
Have any budget-friendly Mother’s Day gift ideas that are proven winners? Please share them with me in the comments–my mom’s birthday is two weeks after Mother’s Day so I need all the gift ideas I can get! 😉